Donald M. Powell was a reference librarian at the University of Arizona and the author of The Peralta Grant; James Addison Reavis and the Barony of Arizona. Powell moved to Tucson in 1946. He was a consultant to the College of Agriculture’s library in Baghdad in 1957. When he returned to the U.S. he became Chief of Public Services of the Library at the UA, and in 1965 was appointed Assistant Librarian. Other works by Powell include The Peralta Grant (1960), An Arizona Gathering (1960), and Arizona Fifty (1962), and several articles on history and librarianship in professional journals.
The collection contains typescript original drafts and revisions with holograph corrections, correspondence, notes, photographs, contemporary newspaper accounts, and extensive related research material used in the book, including many notes by Rosemary Taylor. There are also photocopies of photographs, documents, maps and other original materials used in Reavis's fraudulent land grant claim. Newspaper accounts from 1873-1896 are typescripts and photocopies from original reports related to the claim.